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Physicians who treat bullet wounds and deal with gun-related deaths were stunned when the National Rifle Association directed “self-important anti-gun” doctors to “stay in your lane.”

The Twitter attack just hours before 12 people were killed in a California bar late Wednesday (the second mass shooting in the nation in less than two weeks) triggered an avalanche of angry responses from physicians, other health care workers and their supporters.

The NRA also grumbled in its tweet that doctors were consulting only medical research and other members of the health community to reach the conclusion that guns are an increasingly serious public health issue.

“Half of the articles in the Annals of Medicine are pushing for gun control,” the NRA complained. 

Several new studies on gun violence were reported last month in the journal, which is published by the American College of Physicians. The organization also issued new guidelines for doctors to help protect their patients from gun-related injuries and death.

Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves. https://t.co/oCR3uiLtS7

— NRA (@NRA) November 7, 2018

“Everyone has hobbies. Some doctors’ collective hobby is opining on firearms policy,” sniped an NRA opinion piece linked to the Twitter post. 

Furious physicians noted on Twitter that treating bullet wounds or informing parents that a child has died from a shooting actually is their “lane.” 

We are not self-important: we are important to the care of others
We are not anti-gun: we are anti-bullet holes in our patients
We consult with everyone but extremists
Most upsetting, actually, is death and disability from gun violence that is unparalleled in the world https://t.co/E8qz3lewK7

— Esther Choo MD MPH (@choo_ek) November 8, 2018

Actually I did consult others…the children I’ve cared for who were injured or paralyzed by guns and the families of the kids who didn’t survive their #GSW. #ItIsOurLane

— Mary L. Brandt MD (@drmlb) November 8, 2018

My lane as Pediatric ICU physician: why don’t YOU try being the person who has to go into a room & tell a family the worst possible news they are ever going to hear because the damage their kid came in with was beyond our saving? Not only is this OUR lane, YOU ARE IN IT. #GetOut

— 👁👁 Sonia F. Khan MD, FAAP (@sapienist) November 8, 2018

As a Trauma Surgeon and survivor of #GunViolence I cannot believe the audacity of the @NRA to make such a divisive statement.

We take care of these patients everyday. Where are you when I’m having to tell all those families their loved one has died. @DocsDemand #Docs4GunSense https://t.co/XrY1G3hIi2

— Joseph Sakran (@JosephSakran) November 7, 2018

Unless you are working beside me in my Pediatric ER while I code a child dying from a gun shot wound while his mother screams in a way that will stay with you forever you need to STAY IN YOUR LANE. Gun control and gun violence is ABSOLUTELY my business.

— PediMom, Dr. Free N. Hess (@thepedimom) November 8, 2018

Um, yeah, how dare we publish public health articles in medical journals. We’re real assholes. #itISourlane

— Jean Talsma (@drjtalsma) November 8, 2018

ALL CAPS @NRA are you on call? We have lots of gun shot cases for you to treat in Cleveland if you have the time? Want to take call this Saturday?????

— Vicki Noble (@nobleultrasound) November 8, 2018

Was consulting with doctors who treat gunshot wounds and anxiety/ depression with gun related violence and loss not enough? With whom did they want us to consult?

— Richard Nocella (@DrAllecon) November 8, 2018

The impact of caring for a #Gunshotwound victim on first-responders, doctors, and nurses is understated. #ThisisMyLane

— Vineeta Singh (@DrVineetaSingh5) November 8, 2018

12 more parents have lost their children. Another community is traumatized. I have had #enough

I am DONE with @NRA telling me I can’t talk about this. DONE accepting federal limits on #research

And I know you are, too.

This is what you can do:https://t.co/3d0wO4ytgo

— Megan Ranney MD MPH (@meganranney) November 8, 2018

Who do you think removes bullets from spines and repairs (or tries to) livers blasted by an AR-15? The tooth fairy? This literally is medicine’s lane. https://t.co/V9yi1M6ecJ

— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) November 8, 2018

This is everyone’s lane. We have to be in this together. And I invite anyone into this lane who wants to help fix the problem. #ProtectOurKids #ItIsOurLane

— Kristen Zeller, MD (@kzellermd) November 8, 2018

The @NRA tells doctors to “stay in their lane” re #GunViolence. We wish we could. Instead, we pledge to talk to our patients about gun violence whenever risk factors are present. Click the link at the top of the page and join us https://t.co/deFA2WfFh7 ….

— Annals of Int Med (@AnnalsofIM) November 8, 2018

Yeah! Who ya gonna listen to? An organization that lobbies to make gun manufactures rich or the medical professionals that have to repair the bodies sacrificed to corporate profits? 🤔

— Marky Mark Twain (@OldManRiver1800) November 8, 2018

Dr. Mary Brandt, a pediatric surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital and professor at Baylor College of Medicine, tweeted a number of studies linking increased gun control to a decrease in fatalities.

“Open carry ban decreases fatalities and healthcare utilization even in a state with baseline strict gun laws.” #ItIsOurLane pic.twitter.com/lfCqDDdyHy

— Mary L. Brandt MD (@drmlb) November 8, 2018

The NRA attack on medical doctors is the latest response by the gun manufacturers lobbying group against statistics and research detailing the devastating toll of firearms in American society.

Guns send nearly 8,000 children to U.S. emergency rooms each year, according to a study last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Half of all gun-related deaths in the world in 2016 occurred in just six nations, even though they include just 10 percent of the world’s population, according to a study in August in JAMA. The U.S. ranked second in the number of gun deaths with 37,200 fatalities, after Brazil’s 43,200.

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